The Latest: Qatar Air CEO says blockade leaves lasting wound

Aircrafts gather at the tarmac of the Paris Air Show, on the eve of its opening, in Le Bourget, east of Paris, France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. While Airbus and Boeing will again hog the spotlight at the Paris Air Show with their battle for ever-largerThe Associated Press
Aircrafts gather at the tarmac of the Paris Air Show, on the eve of its opening, in Le Bourget, east of Paris, France, Sunday, June 18, 2017. While Airbus and Boeing will again hog the spotlight at the Paris Air Show with their battle for ever-larger slices of the lucrative pie in the sky, a lot of the really interesting stuff will be going on elsewhere at next week's massive biennial aviation and defense industry gathering. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

The Latest on the Paris Air Show (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

The CEO of Qatar Airways says the blockade imposed on his country by Gulf neighbors "will leave a lasting wound."

Speaking Monday at the Paris Air Show, Akbar Al Baker told The Associated Press: "People will not forget."

Al Baker said he expects U.S. President Donald Trump will intervene "to make sure that this blockade is lifted soonest...especially since he knows that we are part of his alliance against terrorism."

He called the blockade illegal and said customers are returning to Qatar Airways and again using Qatar as an aviation hub after an initial hit to business.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar this month and blocked air, sea and land traffic with Qatar over its support for Islamist groups and ties with Iran.

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12:50 p.m.

When the stealthy hi-tech F-35 fighter jet tears through Paris skies on its first ever acrobatic displays this week, the jet will also be sending a message: NATO allies, the United States is still on your side.

In an Associated Press interview at the opening Monday of the Paris Air Show, a senior F-35 Air Force administrator, Brigadier General Select Todd Canterbury, said the daily displays of the new jet are to showcase its abilities and "reassure (allies) that we are committed to NATO 100 percent and that we have got the capability to respond to any action necessary."

U.S. President Donald Trump has called NATO obsolete and excoriated European allies last month for not spending enough on their own defenses.

Canterbury, director of the Air Force F-35 Integration Office at the Pentagon, also spoke about recent problems that grounded F-35s at Luke Airforce Base in Arizona. Since May 2, F-35 pilots on five occasions reported symptoms of oxygen deprivation, he said.

Engineers, test pilots, medics and others experts are "digging into this problem 24 hours a day," to try to identify the cause, Canterbury said.

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12:00 p.m.

Airbus has clinched a deal for 100 single-aisle A320neo planes in its first big move at the Paris Air Show, where the European planemaker is jockeying with Boeing for orders amid burgeoning competition from China.

Airbus and General Electric's aircraft leasing arm, GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), announced the firm order Monday.

The A320neo range of jets, designed to use less fuel than the original and widely-used A320s, have proven popular and are competing with Boeing's 737 Max series.

Meanwhile, China's first large passenger jet, the C919, is competing with the A320 and 737 ranges.

Airbus also announced that it's studying a more fuel-efficient version of the superjumbo A380, which has struggled to win a big customer base. The A380plus could carry 80 more passengers and fly slightly farther.

Airbus and Boeing are expected to bring in about 200 new orders each at this week's show at Le Bourget, down from past years when Asian and Mideast carriers were growing rapidly.

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11:05 a.m.

Boeing is announcing plans for a new, longer version of its 737 Max jet at the Paris Air Show in hopes of boosting orders for the single-aisle plane in its race with European rival Airbus.

The CEO of Boeing's commercial planes operations, Kevin McAllister, said Monday that the 737 Max-10 will offer customers more flexibility and seating space. It is expected to cost a bit more than the 737 Max-9, which runs at $119 million according to list prices.

Boeing will this week show off a 737 Max-9, which has struggled to attract customers.

The Max series of jets are designed to be a more fuel-efficient version of the workhorse 737, Boeing's most popular commercial plane. They compete with Airbus planes in the A320-neo family, aiming at a similar short- to mid-range market.

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10:40 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron is opening the Paris Air Show from the skies.

Macron landed Monday at the Bourget airfield in an Airbus A400-M military transport plane to launch the aviation showcase, where the latest Boeing and Airbus passenger jets will vie for attention with an F-35 warplane, drones and other and high-tech hardware.

Macron, trying to raise his international profile, appears to have chosen the A400-M to give a boost of confidence to the long-troubled European military transporter project.

Thousands are expected at the biennial aviation and defense industry gathering this week.

The industry is eager to show off its wares after a string of public relations embarrassments recently — from the United Airlines' passenger getting dragged off a flight to British Airways' massive outage.